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Chicken Momos




Winter is a killer here. It makes me depressed specially on a Sunday evening. I have been trying to keep myself occupied on Sundays now so that I avoid being depressed. (So few of us talk about depression openly isn’t it! But we should, maybe in some other post)
Cooking is very therapeutic and I enjoy it. Now with so many people requesting food from me it’s another kind of motivation. It’s nice to be recognised for my cooking actually. Never thought about it!!! Why???

Today, I wanted to make some chicken momos. Momos have a special space in our heart. It takes us back to Delhi- out student life, our joint life.-life that we shared-R,S and me. Three best friends forever! Every time we have momos we talk about our life in Delhi.


We always did everything together. Well most of it! I and R were seeing each other and to set the record correct R was not double timing S. This one we did separately. We had such fun on this account. Rest, we were always together. My hostel announcement always used to be A19 and B52, visitor for you. There, one man waiting to meet two girls, even on a rainy day when rest of the hostel was submerged in water. I can still hear teasing we had to endure from rest of hostel mates. On that day we actually went out in waist deep water for Ice-cream in mother dairy. We all had banana lolly. Those were the days!



We mostly used to walk to everywhere we went. Those days we were pretty tight on money. Only exception used to be going to Kamla Nagar for momo’s. We three went by rickshaw. Eating momos were special hence needed special mode of travel. Now I wonder how they managed to pull us. R was never known to be thin. S and I were. S still is!  

We used to go to momo’s place and wait to order. It used to be like never ending five minute. And we use to order a plate of momo for the three of us. 8 of them came in a plate! We used to wait, salivating on the thought of eating momos. Every time we eat that, our usual promise used to be ‘when we have money, someday, when we have money we will have one plate each’.

We did go back to Kamala Nagar in 2012, we had momos, and we had one plate each. What we didn’t have is the fun that we used to have sharing the momos.

It was not the momos, what was fun is that we shared it with some of the few people who loved us conditionally. It was about the friendship we shared and still share! It was also about enjoying and valuing what little we had. Now with money we lost it! We can buy three plates of momos but not the same happiness, the taste, the waiting and the salivating! How sad is that!

My making momos is incomplete without talking about R and S.

Here is raising a momos toast to us and our friendship. Momos will always be special.

(By the way momos tasted almost perfect said R who is now my partner.)

  




Ingredient for filling:  


2 Chicken breast and thigh ground with blender at home
1 full white onion 
1 tsp of grated ginger 
1 tsp of grated garlic 
½ tsp of white pepper 
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil
Green Chili for sauce
2 teaspoon soy sauce

Ingredient for Dough:  

2 cups of all-purpose wheat flour
About 1 cups of warm water

A little bit of cooking oil to grease the steamer
Chilli oil to serve
Chicken soup as accompaniment


Directions:

1.       To make the stuffing, add all the ingredients listed above in a big bowl and mix it thoroughly.
2.      Put about 2 cups of flour in a bowl, add a little oil and slowly add  warm water
3.      Mix the flour and water very well by hand and keep adding water until you make a fairly smooth ball of dough.
4.      Knead the dough very well until the dough is flexible.
5.      Leave your dough in the pot with the lid on while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, or put it in a plastic bag.
6.      Now the tricky part which I am not very good at, place the dough on a board and use a rolling pin to roll it out quite thinly. It should not be so thin that you can see through it when you pick it up, nor should it be quite as thick
7.      After you have rolled out the dough, you will need to cut it into little circles for each momo.
8.      The easiest way to do this is turn a small cookie upside down to cut out circles about the size of the palm of your hand.This way, you don’t have to worry about making good circles of dough because each one will be the same size and shape.
9.      Now, you begin by holding the flat circular dough in your left hand and putting a tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle of the dough.
10.   Then you have to fold your circle of dough in half, covering over the filling.
11.    Now press together the two edges of the half circle so that there is no open edge in your half circle, and the filling is completely enclosed in the dough.
12.   You will now have the basic half-moon shape, and you can make your momo pretty by pinching and folding along the curved edge of the half circle.
13.   Start at one tip of the half-moon, and fold over a very small piece of dough, pinching it down.
14.   Continue folding and pinching from the starting point, moving along the edge until you reach the other tip of the half-moon.
15.   Finally, you should boil water in a large steamer
16.   Oil the steamer surface lightly before putting the momos in, so they won’t stick to the metal, then place as many as you can without touching each other.
17.   Add the momos after the water is already boiling.
18.   Steam the momos for about 10 minutes.
19.   Serve them piping hot, with chilli oil and chicken soup





Dimer Do Piyaanja/ Anda Do Pyaza/ Bengali Egg Do Pyaza




Finally it seems like winter has set in. No complaint though. We had lovely summer hence do not mind the grey winter mornings and early nights. In fact sitting in my office overlooking the garden the rainy day seem very romantic. Keralan filter coffee in my hand. 30 mins respire from a work that most days leave me shattered -nature, coffee, this garden, romance with nature and my kitchen are my only breather.

Thinking about my kitchen- kitchen!! Yes the space where I pour my love to create magic. Clichés right?! Actually not. To me food is a form of art that most people understands. I believe that every cook in every household is an artist in their own right. They add their own emotion, their own lotion potion, their own story, past, present and aspiration.  Have you ever noticed how taste of same food varies from one hand to another? Amazing isn’t it! We add Love!

My kitchen off late has become my ground for economic activity. Many of you, my blog followers, my friends and those of you who keep motivating me to go on, have started to order food from me. It’s been some time which I thought eventually will stop. But to my amazement, it is growing, I am growing. My kitchen is no longer just my kitchen!

Now, it is part of your life too.   I thank you all for taking the next  step…For me, with me! Making me part of your life, giving me the opportunity to take my story to your dining table and stomach. Doesn’t they say, best way to one’s heart is through their stomach!

Oh, I need to look at the clock! And I don’t want to as I know it will only remind me that my lunch is over.
Here is a recipe for simple Dimer Do Piyaanja/ Anda Do Pyaza/ Bengali Egg Do Pyaza. I am very fond of egg. 

And a simple meal of rice and egg on a winter night is bliss.


Today I am lazy and this one is for all those lazy souls. Cook it!




Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serve for: 2

Ingredients:
4 Egg boiled
2 Onion medium size finely chopped
1 Onion finely sliced
1 tbsp Garlic grated
1 tsp Ginger Paste
½ tsp Cumin Powder
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
¼ tsp Garam masala Powder
Salt (to taste)
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
Sugar (to taste)
4 tbsp Mustard Oil
cup Water as required
Chopped Coriander for garnishing

Method:
1.      Boil the egg. Add a pinch of salt into the water. Boil for 10 minutes on a high flame. When done, peel the skin of the egg gently.
2.      Marinate the boiled eggs with salt and turmeric powder.
3.      In a pan put 1 tbsp of mustard oil. When the oil is heated slightly fry the boiled eggs and put them aside.
4.      Add rest of the oil and heat.
5.      Now add chopped onion and fry for a while on a medium heat.
6.      Then add grated garlic and ginger paste and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
7.      Add salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder into water and make a paste. Add to the pan gravy and mix well.
8.      After all the spices are cooked, put the fried eggs into the gravy.
9.      Add sliced onion and give a stir.
10.   While the gravy is becoming dry, add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the gravy leaves oil.
11.   When its done, add garam masala powder and sugar. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
12.   Garnish with chopped Coriander.



Kolkata Style Egg Chicken Roll/Kolkata Street Food/ Festive Feasting #3



Egg chicken Roll is time tasted street food which is hugely popular in Kolkata. Bengali’s do not need an occasion to gorge on this beauties. Be in an evening snack, after office binging, lovers day out, puja pandal hopping at mid night, first day outing after marriage with new husband, college class bunking and adda or ‘parar rock ee boshe adda’. Egg Chicken roll is a great company is all occasion and more. Every Bong in Kolkata has his allegiance fixed with their favourite joint which satisfies their craving for these rolls. From students who travel between schools/college and tuitions, Lovers finding a quiet place in Victoria/moidan  to chit chat with a single  Egg Chicken roll in their hands to office returned executives, everyone have a craving for it. It is now hugely popular in other cities like Delhi Mumbai and Bangalore and even London with its own Kolkata kathi roll. But noting matches the taste of egg chicken roll born and made and eaten is the city of joy.  And my recipe will not match as well. It is my humble try only to recreate a memory and fragment of the taste which I miss so badly in London.

Puja is here. And I am sitting in front of my computer, writing this blog before leaving for office. Reliving memory through food is all I have today, so far away from home.



Ingredients for paratha or wrap:

1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
3 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Salt
Warm Water to knead the dough

Method:

Making the paratha or wrap:
1. Add flour to a large bowl and sprinkle some salt
2. Now make a well in the centre, add 2 tbsp oil and add warm water little by little
3. Mix well to make a soft dough ball. Cover with dough and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.



Ingredient for Chicken kosha:

500 gms Boneless Chicken or chicken with bone which you can separate after cooking
1 large Tomato (cut into wedges)
 4-5 Garlic cloves (pasted)
1 inch Ginger (pasted)
4 tbsp. curd
½ green chilli paste (optional)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chilli powder (optimal)
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 onions diced into small pieces
½ garam masala
Salt to taste
¼ tsp Sugar
 ½ tsp Whole cumin seed
1 Bay leaf 
Whole garam masala (2 green cardamom, 2 cloves and a small cardamom stick)
6 tbsp Vegetable oil

Making the kosha Chicken:
  1. Heat oil in a pan and temper whole cumin seed, bay leaf and whole garam masala
  2. Add sugar and wait till it's caramelised and add chopped onion
  3. Fry onion until they are translucent
  4. Add ginger-garlic-chilli paste and fry till and oil is completely separated from spices
  5. Now add tomato wedges, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Fry till tomato is soft and cooked
  6. Lower the heat to minimum and add beaten curd. Cook for a minute over low heat.
  7. Add chicken pieces now. Mix and stir in spices
  8. Lower the heat to medium and cook covered. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking/burning at the bottom.
  9. Add salt now and lower the heat to minimum. Cook until it's soft and completely done.
  10. Add 1/4 cup water and again cook over high heat until oil separates completely leaving thick gravy (3-4 minutes).
  11. Lastly sprinkle garam masala powder and turn off the heat

Ingredient for the filling:

4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 medium size Onions, thinly slice
1 Cucumber, chopped
2 Green chillies, finely chopped
Tomato ketchup
1/4 cup Coriander leaves
Lemon juice                                                                                                                  
Salt and Pepper powder to taste
White Oil
Chaat masala/Bhaja masal optional (optional)




Method for making Egg Chicken Roll:
1.     Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and shape into round balls. Using a rolling pin, roll into thin chapatis
2.     Heat a chapati pan, place a chapati and cook on one sides for 30 seconds then flip it
3.     Pour 1 tsp oil on each side of the paratha and cook for a minute for both side.
4.     When Paratha is fried, break an egg on the paratha, whisk




5.     Tilt and rotate slightly to spread egg on paratha


6.     Flip the paratha on other side so that the egg side is also cooked



To assemble the Roll: 

                                                                                                                              
1.     Place the paratha on a platform (egg side up) pour some tomato sauce over it and add some kosha  chicken pieces along with green chillies, cucumber, onion, coriander leaves.



2.     Add in some kosha chicken pieces in the center and season with salt and some lemon juice. Sprinkle some chaat masala/bhaja masala.

3.     Roll the paratha with the chicken stuffing tightly so that while eating the chicken pieces shouldn't fall. Wrap the bottom half of the chicken roll in a paper and tuck the remaining tissue inside the roll at the bottom.
4.     Your egg chicken roll is ready




Drums of Heaven- Chicken Drumsticks/Chicken Lollipop tossed in Schezwan Sauce/ Kolkata Street food-Chicken Drum Stick / Must Eat Festive Bites during Durga Puja #2



We celebrated Durga Puja a bit early this year. Rumi, from Basingstoke left a message for me on my Magic in the Oven (https://www.facebook.com/Magic-in-the-Oven-1712207279067424/) page asking if I wanted do the sweets for their Durga Puja which was on Sunday, 2nd Oct. She wanted Baked Rasogolla for 100 people!!!  My first response was ‘No way, how is that possible’ ‘100 people’ ‘on Sunday’ ‘in 2 days’ and how am I going to travel from London to Basingstoke!
Well, that scepticism didn’t last long! One call from Rumi and she made it sound so easy! She encouraged me to take that leap of faith and take up the challenge. And I am ever so happy that I did.
I not only made the sweets for their bhog but also could give a small stall with Kolkata street food - fish fry, vegetable chop, mutton ghugni and misti doi. And what an outstanding response I received…the fish fry was polished off before we could blink!
But, what I took away from that day is how hospitable the entire team of Basingstoke Durga Puja was! Everyone in the team took effort to come and engage with us and made us feel at home. We had great ‘mangso bhat’ for bhog and we were also given a nice little packet of mangso to take back home. Overall a great start to the festive season.
My post is dedicated to the wonderful people of Basingstoke who made us feel so special - special thanks to Rumi without whom we would have not met such a lovely bunch of people.
Thank you all. You all rock!

Please check their website http://www.basingstokedurgapuja.com/


Now about the recipe. Drums of Heaven is actually Chicken Lollipop tossed in Schezwan sauce. Hence the recipe has two part: 1. making of the chicken lollipops and 2. Making Drum of heave by cooking the chicken lollipops in schezwan Sauce
You can just make the chicken lollipops and eat on their own as well.





Ingredients for Chicken Lollipop Recipe
·       8 Chicken legs
·       1 tpsp Ginger-garlic paste
·       1 Egg
·       2 tbsp Cornflour
·       Salt – to taste
·       ½ black Pepper
·       1 tsp Chilli sauce
·       2 tsp Soy sauce
·       1 tsp Vinegar
·       Oil deep frying depending in frying pan


Method:
·       Clean the chicken legs/drumsticks and keep aside.

·       In a different bowl whisk the egg and then add all the other ingredients to it, except oil and whisk again.

·       Marinate the chicken drumsticks in this prepared batter for at least 1 hour.

·       Once the chicken is well marinated deep fry the pieces till golden brown. Chicken lollipop is ready to be served with ketchup if you want




Ingredient for Schezwan sauce:

·       4-5 Garlic chopped
·       1inch Ginger chopped
·       1 large Onion chopped
·       3 Green chillies cut into small pieces (optional, I used them only to decorate so that my toddler could eat my food)
·       1 tsp Chilli sauce (or less/more, depending on taste, I used less again so that my toddler could eat)
·       2/3 tsp Soya sauce
·       1 tsp Vinegar
·       1 tbsp Tomato sauce
·       Salt – to taste
·       Spring onions – chopped (for garnishing)
·       2 tsp Oil



Method for preparing Drums of Heaven in Schezwan sauce

·       Heat oil in pan
·       Add the chopped garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute.

·       Add the onion and green chillies (if using

·       ) and sauté for another minute till the onion becomes pink.

·        Add the chili sauce, soya sauce, tomato sauce and again sauté for another minute.

·       Add salt and very little water to prepare the sauce.

·       Once the right consistency is reached toss the chicken lollipops in the sauce.


·       Garnish with spring onion.


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